I'm a bit late on this, but Andrew Sullivan deserves one for his takedown of a Tim Cavanaugh line about how Barack Obama is supposedly getting away with ruining the nation. I think part of this is normal rhetoric -- it's reasonable for Obama's opponents to complain about "vast unemployment...a moribund economy, record deficits" even if it's also reasonable for Obama's supporters and neutral observers to note that Obama inherited those conditions.
But what really interests me is the part that I skipped over in that quote, which is "soaring inflation." Just entirely bizarre; inflation, as Sullivan documents, has been basically flat during the Obama presidency. It's not just Cavanaugh, either, although at least some of the inflation Chicken Littles, such as Tom Coburn, only say that it's just around the corner. Of course, Ron Paul and his gang, along with all the goldbugs, are big on this one. My favorite thing is that there's a whole group of people who think it's clever to call the Fed chair "Zimbabwe Ben." You know, because the three great examples of hyperinflation are Zimbabwe, Weimar Germany, and Bernanke-era US. I know I've gone through three wheelbarrows already this year...
If we had wonk elections in which the candidates actually debated their real policy preferences -- not that I'm saying we should, but if we did -- then one of the central issues of the 2012 election would be whether we should be focused on inflation or jobs. I think this is one of those areas in which the press gives a party a pass because it's position just seems so improbable -- I'm thinking of the Bush Administrations (operational at least, but also theoretical in many cases) lack of interest in going after bin Laden as another example, along with the current GOP's preference for fighting inflation over jobs. In both cases, in my view at least the GOP position does have a serious argument to be made on its behalf, but there's no way it's an electoral winner. Anyway, we don't have those kinds of elections, and the press isn't interested in pushing a substantive debate over it, so there you are.
At any rate: nice catch!